In an ever competitive and challenging business environment you need your employees to be firing at all cylinders. But as you walk through the office you can’t help but notice the sea of disgruntled and uninterested faces. These unfortunately are the symptoms of low morale and if ignored, can have devastating implications on your business’s performance.
Lower productivity, higher turnover and minimal collaboration are just some of the many side effects of negative morale amongst any workforce. To contain the freefall and spark a positive change, you must think beyond financial incentives and packages. As they only create a monetary ‘exchange’ and do nothing to impact the personal satisfaction levels of employees. So here are a few cost-effective techniques which you can use to boost your employee’s morale without breaking the bank.
Show and give affection
In any situation, people will always give more when they see someone directly care or make an effort especially for them. It’s just human nature. In a working environment, they don’t have to be extravagant displays of affection rather simple touches. For example, knowing each employee’s birthday and on the day, offering them a sweet treat or getting a card to celebrate. If someone is getting married or having a baby, getting them a thoughtful gift to mark the special milestone in their life. On the surface, it may seem over-the-top but employees will not only appreciate it but remember the kind affection they have been given.
Support outside ambitions
Many people have ambitions to do things beyond their work that will have a meaningful impact. Employees often want to volunteer but between working, commuting and looking after their household – they just don’t have the luxury of spare time. As a business, you can generously support causes your employees are passionate about. Giving the authority to interested employee groups or certain departments to organise and develop a network of volunteer projects. Alternatively, offering each employee a few-fixed paid hours a month to pursue voluntary and charitable endeavours.
Lunch breaks are lunch breaks
Employees these days’ work under huge amounts of pressure and scrutiny, therefore fail to distinguish the line between working and breaks. They find themselves working through lunch and often not eating, to ensure their work is complete on time. By not taking breaks, employees are becoming more anxious and stressed. As the employer, it should be your responsibility to ensure the wellbeing of your employees. Have a policy where during the lunch hour, all employees must switch off their computers and do anything but work. Complementary to this – encourage walks, stretching exercises and eating away from the desk.
No matter how many years of experience or education you have, if there is no communication or dialogue with employees than your wisdom alone is not going to be enough to drive the business forward. Each employee specialises in a certain role thus has a sound understanding of their function and activities within the business. However, they tend to be the most underutilised resource for knowledge and growth.
They have an opinion on what aspects of their role and the business in general can be improved for better results. Often having bright and innovative ideas, that you as the employer never even imagined or thought about. Talk to them!!! Schedule a meeting every so often and gain invaluable insights. In doing so, your business’s performance will not only be enhanced from the ideas implemented but will demonstrate to employees that you value their input. This will also indirectly increase their morale and confidence.
Transparency in motion
It’s common for those in senior positions within a company to restrict information about the business between themselves. Whilst it may seem justifiable to circulate information around the ‘trusted inner circle’, employees end up feeling like they are being left out. Their feelings are understandable, considering they are the ones who are consistently under the spotlight to deliver results. So, when information is not being fully translated to them, they think they are working with one hand tied.
By not being in the loop, employees end up gossiping and rotating rumours amongst each other. This creates worry, therefore detrimentally leads to lower focus and moral. To avoid this, update your employees on the current on-goings within the company – this doesn’t have to be face to face. Weekly e-newsletters and occasional emails are just a handful of convenient alternatives.
Vibrant office environment
The office environment does not have to be bland and boring. These sort of office spaces make employees feel like robots, who carry out monotonous tasks on a daily basis. More importantly, it does not create a favourable mood amongst employees. You want to create an office environment in which employees do not only enjoy but feel inspired and energised from. Bright colours, comfortable furniture, plants, pictures and nice lighting go a long way in achieving this. Talk to or survey your employees and find out what aspects or how they would ideally change the office to create a better as well as thriving environment for them. You don’t have to convert every idea into reality or break the bank but slight changes will have subtle positive impacts.